Details have emerged on how WWE’s non-compete clauses work for when a talent is fired “for cause” like CM Punk was from AEW.
Being fired or terminated “for cause” essentially means a person is being fired because of their misconduct.
“Terminated for cause” was the wording used by AEW for the release of CM Punk.
With CM Punk no longer attached to AEW, the question on a lot of people’s minds is how long will it be until CM Punk can work with WWE.
That depends on whether there’s a non-compete clause, and if there is, how long that clause is for. At this point, there’s no confirmation on whether there’s a non-compete clause or not.
Ultimately, the closest point of reference is how WWE would handle this situation if it were one of their talents.
There’s no telling whether it’s the same for AEW, but it’s the closest comparison we have right now.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, a standard WWE contract’s non-compete period for when somebody is “fired for cause” is one year before they can compete again.
However, Dave Meltzer did mention that if someone took that to court, he doesn’t think that would fly with a judge – even if the talent did something wrong to get fired, a whole year of not being able to work would be too much.
But, that would depend on the judge and the individual circumstance of why the person was fired.
So there’s still no concrete update on CM Punk’s non-compete, but if he was in WWE and under a standard contract and had been fired for cause, his non-compete period would have been one year.
It’s also worth remembering that CM Punk actually had two separate contracts with AEW – a wrestler contract and an employee contract, so that might have an effect too.
It’s been reported that back in December 2022, CM Punk was open to, and even “encouraging”, the idea of leaving AEW so he could return to WWE